How to Enroll In a Dental Assistant or Hygienist Training Program near Annandale 08801
Picking the right dental hygienist training near Annandale NJ is an important initial step toward launching your new career in dentistry. But prior to making your selection, you need to assess and compare your school options. There is much more to completing your due diligence than picking the college with the lowest tuition or enrolling in the program that is nearest to your home. There are other crucial factors to consider as well, including the college’s reputation and accreditation. Your initial step is to decide which of the two specializations you are most interested in obtaining training for, which may be contingent on the amount of money and time that you have to invest. The most typical dental assistant program usually takes about one year to finish for a certificate or diploma. On the other hand, dental hygienists usually earn an Associate Degree, which can take anywhere from two to three years to complete. Naturally with the lengthier training of a hygienist comes more expense. We will discuss all of these considerations and supplemental questions that you need to be asking the programs you are assessing later in this article. But first, let’s review the roles of both dental hygienists and assistants and the training options offered.
The Duties of a Dental Assistant
Dental assistants are an integral part of any Annandale dental practice and can carry out a myriad of functions. Their primary job description is to give assistance to the dentists and the administrative staff. Or simply put, to help keep the practice operating successfully. A number of New Jersey dental assistants choose to specialize and acquire certification in a specific area, for example orthodontics. Even so the majority of assistants carry out any task that they are asked to fulfill, including:
- Scheduling and confirming appointments
- Prepping patients for teeth cleanings and treatments
- Sterilizing and preparing dental instruments
- Using suction equipment to clear patients’ mouths
- Handing instruments to dentists during procedures
- Readying X-ray machines and processing X-rays
- Ordering dental and office supplies
Certification and licensing requirements for dental assistants deviate by state, so consult with the New Jersey dental board for your state’s policies. Assistants working with X-ray machines more than likely will need to be licensed and certified. Most dental assistants who are either required or elect to become certified take the Certified Dental Assistant (CDA) examination provided by the Dental Assisting National Board (DANB).
The Role of Dental Hygienists
When comparing the duties of a Annandale dental hygienist to that of an assistant, the biggest difference is probably that the hygienist works more on their own. As previously discussed, the dental assistant works with and assists the dentists and the practice. Hygienists, while also assisting the New Jersey practice, deal with the patients more on a one-to-one basis. They are frequently the first person a patient sees when called from the waiting room. They examine every patient’s teeth and gums and present their findings to the dentists. They may also perform basic procedures. Based on state law, a hygienist’s responsibilities may include:
- Removing plaque, tartar and stains
- Administering fluoride treatments
- Polishing teeth and applying sealants
- Teaching patients regarding oral hygiene
- Taking X-rays and developing film
- Applying fillings and removing sutures
To qualify for licensing in nearly all states, dental hygienists must have graduated from a Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA) accredited dental hygiene program. They also must pass the National Board Dental Hygiene Examination as well as any state licensure exams. Once they have completed these requirements they are regarded as fully licensed and can add the “RDH” designation to their names, signifying Registered Dental Hygienist.
Dental Assistant and Hygienist Education Options
Dental assistant programs are provided at New Jersey junior colleges as well as vocational or technical schools. The most frequent credential acquired is the certificate, which generally takes about 1 year to finish. There are fewer Associate Degree programs offered, and they furnish a more comprehensive education, incorporating general subjects in addition to the dental assistant classes. Because of the additional responsibility in contrast to an assistant, dental hygienists employed in dental practices are normally required to have an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. These programs can require anywhere from 2 to as long as 3 years to finish and must be accredited by the CDA in virtually every state. They are also offered in trade schools and community colleges. Regardless of whether you are interested in training as a dental hygienist or assistant, there will be a practical component to the training also. Some programs also offer internships with Annandale area dental practices or dentists.
Dental Online Training
Enrolling in an online dental hygienist or assistant program can be a great alternative for receiving your education. Just keep in mind that the classes will not be totally online, since there will be a clinical component to your training. But the rest of your classes will be available via your personal computer in the comfort of your Annandale home or anywhere else on your tablet or laptop. For those continuing to work while attending college, online dental classes make education far more obtainable. Many may even charge lower tuition rates than their traditional competitors. And supplementary expenses for items like books, school supplies and commuting may be lessened as well. The practical training can usually be completed at an area dental office or in an on-campus lab. With both the online and clinical training, everything required to get the appropriate education is furnished. If you have the discipline for this mode of education, you might find that attending an dental online school is the ideal choice for you.
Issues to Cover With Dental Assistant or Hygienist Schools
After you have selected the dental specialty and kind of credential you wish to earn, you can begin the process of comparing Annandale area schools and programs. As we covered at the opening of this article, many potential students start by checking out the location and the cost of the schools. Maybe they search for some online alternatives as well. Even though these may be relevant initial considerations, there are a few additional questions that you should ask of the New Jersey programs you are comparing in order to make an informed decision. Toward that end, we have supplied a list of questions to assist you with your due diligence and ultimate selection of the right dental school for you.
Is the Dental Program Accredited? There are several valid reasons why you should only choose an accredited dental assistant or hygienist college. If you are planning to become certified or licensed, then accreditation is a requirement in almost all states. To qualify to take the Certified Dental Assistant exam, your dental program must be accredited by the Commission on Dental Accreditation (CDA). Accreditation also helps guarantee that the education you get is of the highest quality and comprehensive. Annandale area employers typically desire or require that job applicants are graduates of accredited schools. And last, if you are requesting a student loan or financial aid, usually they are not obtainable for non-accredited programs.
Is The Appropriate Dental Program Available? You can decide to train to become a dental hygienist or a dental assistant, just make certain that the school you select has the program that’s right for you. For the assistant program, the options are to enroll in a certificate program or earn an Associate Degree. In order to have a career as a hygienist, most Annandale area dental practices require an Associate Degree in dental hygiene. More advanced degrees, although not prevalent, are available. However, bear in mind that even if a school has an exceptional reputation and accreditation does not mean all of its programs do as well. For example, an accredited school may have a solid accredited dental assistant program, but could have a weaker or non-accredited hygienist program. So if you are solely interested in a dental hygiene degree, obviously it would not be the best school for you.
Is Adequate Clinical Training Included? Practical or clinical training is a vital component of any dental training program. This is true for the online college options also. Most Annandale area dental programs have partnerships with regional dental offices and clinics that furnish clinical training for their students. It’s not only important that the school you enroll in offers sufficient clinical hours but also provides them in the kind of practice that you subsequently want to work in. As an example, if you have an interest in a career in pediatric dentistry, confirm that the program you select offers clinical rotation in a local dental office that focuses on dental treatment for children.
Is There an Internship Program? Find out if the dental programs you are evaluating have internship programs. Internships are probably the most effective way to obtain hands-on, practical experience in a real Annandale dental practice. They make it easier for students to transition from the theoretical to the practical. They can also help students establish professional relationships in the local dentistry community. And they are attractive on resumes also.
Is Job Placement Assistance Offered? Most graduating students of dental assistant or hygiene schools need help getting their first job. Check if the colleges you are reviewing have job assistance programs, and what their job placement rates are. Schools with higher job placement rates are likely to have good reputations within the dental profession as well as large networks of contacts where they can position their students for employment or internships.
Are Classes Small? Ask the New Jersey programs you are evaluating how big typically their classrooms are. The smaller classes generally offer a more personal setting for learning where students have greater access to the instructors. On the other hand, large classes tend to be impersonal and provide little one-on-one instruction. If feasible, find out if you can monitor a couple of classes at the college that you are most interested in in order to witness first hand the amount of interaction between students and instructors before making a commitment.
What is the Entire Expense of the Program? Dental assistant and dental hygiene training can vary in cost depending on the duration of the program and the volume of practical training provided. Other factors, for example the reputations of the colleges and whether they are public or private also have an impact. But besides the tuition there are other significant expenses which can add up. They can include expenses for such things as commuting and textbooks as well as school equipment, materials and supplies. So when analyzing the cost of colleges, don’t forget to add all of the costs related to your education. Most schools have financial assistance offices, so make sure to ask what is offered as far as loans, grants and scholarships in the 08801 area.
Are the Classes Accessible? Before enrolling in a dental college, you must verify that the assistant or hygienist program provides classes that suit your schedule. This is especially true if you continue working while receiving your education and need to go to classes near Annandale in the evenings or on weekends. And even if you select an online college, you will still be required to schedule your practical training classes. Also, while addressing your concerns, ask what the make-up practice is if you should have to miss any classes because of illness, work or family issues.
Select the Ideal Dental Program near Annandale NJChoosing the ideal dental assistant or dental hygienist course is important if you intend to take the CDA exam or, if mandated in your state, become licensed. As you now know, there are a number of options offered to receive your training and it takes a fairly short amount of time to become either a dental assistant or hygienist. You can receive your formal training through dental programs at community colleges, vocational schools, technical institutes and trade schools. Graduates of these programs normally earn either a certificate or an Associate Degree. Dental Assistants can be working in as little as nine months to a year, while Dental Hygienists typically require about two years of studies prior to entering the work force. When earning either a certificate or a degree you can choose to go to classes online or on-campus. Whichever mode of training or credential you elect to pursue, by addressing the questions presented in this article you will be better prepared to make the ideal selection. And by doing so, you will be ready to commence your journey toward becoming a dental assistant or hygienist.